Can Anthony Weiner Get Voters to See Beyond His Scandals?

by Jim Geraghty

The only thing holding back Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign is the fact that the candidate is Anthony Weiner.

The intriguing thing about Weiner’s video announcing his mayoral candidacy is that if it weren’t from Anthony Weiner, almost everyone would concur with his assessment of what ails the city: a cost of living that crushes the middle class, “regulations that nickel and dime small businesses to death,” schools that can’t provide a good education for every child, “the people who put everything they had into this city are getting priced right out of it.” But voters — and certainly the media — may not hear any of that; they’ve got a mental picture in their heads that just won’t go away.

It will be interesting if we see a similar dynamic as in Mark Sanford’s recent successful comeback bid in South Carolina: Everyone outside of the locality knows the politician for his scandal and finds his return to office unthinkable, while those within the locality have known the politician since the beginning of his career — and evaluate him on more than the scandal.

The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.